What is the Concept of God?

Conceptions of God in monotheistpantheist, and panentheist religions – or of the supreme deity in henotheistic religions – can extend to various levels of abstraction:

 

  • as a powerful, human-like, supernatural being, or as the deification of an esoteric, mystical or philosophical entity or category;
  • as the “Ultimate”, the summum bonum, the “Absolute Infinite”, the “Transcendent”, or Existence or Being itself;
  • as the ground of being, the monistic substrate, that which we cannot understand; and so on.

 

The first recordings that survive of monotheistic conceptions of God, borne out of henotheism and (mostly in Eastern religionsmonism, are from the Hellenistic period. Of the many objects and entities that religions and other belief systems across the ages have labeled as divine, the one criterion they share is their acknowledgement as divine by a group or groups of human beings.

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Argument From Beauty

Argument From Beauty The argument from beauty (also the aesthetic argument) is an argument for the existence of a realm of immaterial ideas or, most commonly, for the existence of God. Plato argued there is a transcendent plane of abstract ideas, or universals, which are more perfect than real-world examples of those ideas. Later...

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Kalam Cosmological Argument

Kalam Cosmological Argument The Kalam cosmological argument is a modern formulation of the cosmological argument for the existence of God. It is named after the kalam (medieval Islamic scholasticism) from which its key ideas originated. It was popularized in the western world by William Lane Craig in his book, The Kalām Cosmological Argument (1979). The argument’s key underpinning idea is the metaphysical impossibility...

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Argument From Degree

Argument From Degree The argument from degrees, also known as the degrees of perfection argument or the henological argument is an argument for the existence of God first proposed by mediaeval Roman Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas as one of the five ways to philosophically argue in favour of God‘s existence in his Summa Theologica. It is based on ontological and theological notions of...

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Argument From Contingency

Argument From Contingency In the scholastic era, St. Thomas Aquinas formulated the “argument from contingency“, following Aristotle in claiming that there must be something to explain why the Universe exists. Since the Universe could, under different circumstances, conceivably not exist (contingency), the existence of God must have a cause – not merely another contingent thing,...

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Argument From Metaphysical Motion

Argument From Metaphysical Motion In the existence of God, Argument from universal causation, an argument from first cause, or the causal argument. (about the origin). Whichever term is employed, there are three basic variants of the argument, each with subtle yet important distinctions: the arguments from in causa (causality), in esse (essentiality), and in fieri (becoming). The basic...

The doctrine of the Filioque, from the Boulbon Altarpiece: The Trinity with a donor presented by St. Agricol. Provence, c. 1450. From the high altar of the chapelle Saint-Marcellin, Boulbon, France.

Filioque

Filioque Filioque is a Latin term added to the original Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed (the Nicene Creed), and which has been the subject of great controversy between Eastern and Western Christianity. The Latin term Filioque describes the Holy Spirit as proceeding from both the Father and the Son, (not from the Father only). In the Nicene Creed it is translated...

Methodists often seek the new birth and entire sanctification at the mourners' bench or chancel rails during services held in local churches, tent revivals and camp meetings (pictured are people praying at Mount Zion United Methodist Church in Pasadena).

Baptism with The Holy Spirit

Baptism with The Holy Spirit In Christian theology, baptism with the Holy Spirit, also called baptism in the Holy Spirit or baptism in the Holy Ghost, has been interpreted by different Christian denominations and traditions in a variety of ways due to differences in the doctrines of salvation and ecclesiology. It is frequently associated with incorporation into the Christian Church,...

The Holy Trinity

Perichoresis

Perichoresis Perichoresis (“rotation”) is a term referring to the relationship of the three persons of the triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) to one another. Circumincession is a Latin-derived term for the same concept. It was first used as a term in Christian theology, by the Church Fathers. The noun first appears in the writings of Maximus Confessor (d....

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What is Trinity?

What is Trinity? The Christian doctrine of the Trinity (Trinitas, ‘triad’, trinus “threefold”) holds that God is one God, but three coeternal and consubstantial persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct, yet are one “substance, essence or nature” (homoousios). In this context, a “nature” is what one is, whereas a...

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Introduction to The Trinity

The Trinity A difficult but fundamental concept within Christianity, the Trinity is the belief that God is three separate persons but is still a single God. Introduction to The Trinity The core belief The doctrine of the Trinity is the Christian belief that: There is One God, who is Father, Son,...

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Divine Inspiration

Divine Inspiration Divine inspiration is the concept of a supernatural force, typically a deity, causing a person or people to experience a creative desire. It has been a commonly reported aspect of many religions, for thousands of years. Divine inspiration is often closely tied to the concept of revelation, the belief in information being revealed or disclosed through...

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Christian Agnosticism

Christian Agnosticism Christian agnostics practice a distinct form of agnosticism that applies only to the properties of God. They hold that it is difficult or impossible to be sure of anything beyond the basic tenets of the Christian faith. They believe that God or a higher power exists, that Jesus may have a special relationship with God and...

Shrine of the household deities lares in Pompeii, showing the offering altar and a niche for votive images

Household Deity

Household Deity A household deity ( or Household gods) is a deity or spirit that protects the home, looking after the entire household or certain key members. It has been a common belief in paganism as well as in folklore across many parts of the world. Household deities fit into two types; firstly, a specific deity – typically a goddess –...

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Sacred King

Sacred King In many historical societies, the position of kingship carries a sacral meaning, that is, it is identical with that of a high priest and judge. The concept of theocracy is related, although a sacred king need not necessarily rule through his religious authority; rather, the temporal position has a religious significance. History Sir James George Frazer used the concept...

King Mu and the Queen Mother of the West, an illustration from Joseon Korea

Son of Heaven

Son of Heaven Son of Heaven, or Tianzi (天子; Tiānzǐ), was the sacred imperial title of the Chinese emperor. It originated with the ancient Zhou dynasty and was founded on the political and spiritual doctrine of the Mandate of Heaven. The secular imperial title of the Son of Heaven was “Emperor of China“. The title,...

Jesus, King of Kings

King of Kings

King of Kings King of Kings was a ruling title employed primarily by monarchs based in the Middle East. Though most commonly associated with Iran (historically known as Persia in the West), especially the Achaemenid and Sasanian Empires, the title was originally introduced during the Middle Assyrian Empire by king Tukulti-Ninurta I (reigned 1233–1197 BC) and was subsequently used in a number of...

Holy Spirit

Gender of the Holy Spirit

Gender of the Holy Spirit In Christian theology, the gender of the Holy Spirit has been the subject of some debate in recent times. The grammatical gender of the word for “spirit” is feminine in Hebrew (רוּחַ, rūaḥ), neuter in Greek (πνεῦμα, pneûma) and masculine in Latin (spiritus). The neuter Greek πνεῦμα is used in the Septuagint to...

Anubis conducts Hunefer to judgment, where his heart will be weighed against the feather of truth; the fourteen gods above sit in order of judgment, with the underworld ruler Osiris, flanked by Isis and Nephthys, to the right, and the monstrous Ammit waiting next to the scales to devour the souls of those whose hearts are heavier than the feather

Divine Judgment

Divine Judgment Divine judgment means the judgment of God or other supreme beings within a religion. Divine judgment (Latin judicium divinum), as an imminent act of God, denotes the action of God’s retributive justice by which the destiny of rational creatures is decided according to their merits and demerits. Ancient beliefs See also: Ancient...

Fausto Sozzini was an Italian theologian who helped define Unitarianism and also served the Polish Brethren church

Socinianism

Socinianism Socinianism is a system of Christian doctrine named for Italians Lelio Sozzini (Latin: Laelius Socinus) and Fausto Sozzini (Latin: Faustus Socinus), uncle and nephew, respectively, which was developed among the Polish Brethren in the Minor Reformed Church of Poland during the 16th and 17th centuries and embraced by the Unitarian Church of Transylvania during the same period. It is most...

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Cosmological Argument

Cosmological Argument A cosmological argument, in natural theology and natural philosophy (not cosmology), is an argument in which the existence of God is inferred from alleged facts concerning causation, explanation, change, motion, contingency, dependency, or finitude with respect to the universe or some totality of objects. It is traditionally known as an...

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